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Does The Digi Rack 003+ have good preamps?
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craven
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1st June 2011
Old 1st June 2011
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Does The Digi Rack 003+ have good preamps?

I currently amd using pro tools mpowered 7, with m-audio fast track ultra 8r.

I am getting ready to get the avid digi rack 003+ with 8 pre amps.

I am also going with pro tools 8 LE.

Is this upgrade a far leap? And are the pre amps alot better in the 003+ rack than the ultra 8r?

Thanks
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1st June 2011
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Why not get Pro Tools 9 and a third party interface??

The 003 preamps work when that's all you have or have left. But I find them rather dull. At the small studio I work at, I ALWAYS choose the preamps on the digimax fs before going to the 003.

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craven
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Whats the digimax?

So the 003+ pre amps arent better than thr iltra 8r?
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Don't buy the 003+. The mic pre's are not great on any 003 version.
I would think your M-Audio USB would sound just fine. If you're looking for lower latency & more tracks, then go to the 003r. If you're using PT LE 8, then think of a used Digi 002r instead of the 003 & save some $.

Presonus has manufactured a few types of Digimax ADAT I/O boxes with mic pre's over the years. The current ones are the FS and D8. I have an older LT version that I like. Just about any Digimax's pre's sound better than the ones in Digi 002's or 003's.
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So the 002 sounds better pre amp pre amp wise?

The reason i was gonna get a 003+, is because i found onr brand new for $750

Whats the 003r? Whats the best rack unit out of any brand? The one with literally "stellar" pre amps?

I may for pro tools 9.
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1st June 2011
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003r is the rack mount version with 4 preamps and 4 separate line ins. You won't really find 8 "stellar" preamps on an interface in this price range. But those 4 line ins let you use outboard preamps that might be stellar if you want to spend some money. The pres on the 003 won't blow your socks off, but they work fine as a clean utility pre.
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What if i go pro tools 9? Whats the best interface with at least 8 pre's?
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1st June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
What if i go pro tools 9? Whats the best interface with at least 8 pre's?
Well this interface has literally just been shipped my way from Thomann.

Here she is

It's the Phonic firefly 808U

I think it is going to get some stick here as it's not top end, but how bad can it be? It's got 8 mic pres, 8 analogue outputs as well as a separate main out.

Here's the back of it

Can't wait.

I doubt this would be a bad choice for you.
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Last edited by Drooh; 1st June 2011 at 09:58 AM.. Reason: Fix links.
craven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azriel_7 View Post
And end up with pres' that make the 003 pres' sound incredible.


Do you think the 003+ is worth it for me? For 750?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
Do you think the 003+ is worth it for me? For 750?
I would have to say, no. I have listened to the 003, and for $750 dollars, you can fair much better elsewhere.

For instance, you could get a Presonus FireStudio Project for around $400 and then add an outboard Pre (for variety of flavor) like a Pre73.

That gives you a firewire interface with 8 pre's (10 total ins), 8 outs, and an external pre for the same price.....

Or you could take that $350 and apply it towards PT9
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Whats a pt9? But then i need pro tools 9 and thats like 500?

What about just the presonus? Is better than the ultra 8r?

I also saw an "apogee" unit it says 8 pristine pre amps. It was like $1950.00?!
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2nd June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azriel_7 View Post
And end up with pres' that make the 003 pres' sound incredible.
I agree with you on that. But purchasing a used 002r would free up $ to put toward a decent entry-level preamp like a M-Audio DMP3 or a Golden Age Pre-73.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
And are the pre amps alot better in the 003+ rack than the ultra 8r?

Thanks
Preamps dont matter that much (or A/D or whatever...the dirty little secret of Gearslutz...gear is overrated!!!).

Focus on writing good songs or working with good songwriters with prolific output.

People dont buy albums because of what preamp you used!!!!!! or mic... or compressor... etc etc... PEOPLE BUY SONGS

Katy Perry could record her next album with a radioshack mic into a 4track and it would sell 5million copies. AT LEAST

Vintage Radioshack mics would start going for $1500 on ebay and everyone would be buying up all N.O.S. cassette tapes

Something to think about.
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Mackie black bird or presonus firestudio project have more pre amps, sounds better than Digi 001, 002, or 003. Black bird has Adat for connecting another unit so it's expandable. Fire studio has no Adat.
Both units are $500. Don't waste money. You won't gain anything.
Buying good mic's will make more difference and save you time mixing.


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2nd June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
Whats a pt9? But then i need pro tools 9
PT9 is ProTools 9.


Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
I also saw an "apogee" unit it says 8 pristine pre amps. It was like $1950.00?!
And those aren't even top quality preamps. If you don't need 8 pres, think about getting just a couple great ones.
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I'm interested in this thread as I'm going to be upgrading soon. The 003's are more affordable than ever right now (and very tempting). But I was looking at the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. Anyone tried it? Six Focusrite Preamps, and two "Liquid" pre's (which can emulate a number of renowned preamps). Looks like it has a lot of I/O possibilities as well. Looks like it's competitively priced as well.

As for the OP - in my experience, the preamps on the 003 are usable. You can do better, but you can do worse. They don't have a ton of gain, so if you have a mic that is a real gainhog (like some ribbons or an SM7b) then it might be an issue (that being said condensers and most dynamics will work fine with them). However, if you need to crank 'em way up, they do have a noticeable noise floor (which is probably true of most Interface preamps). For $750, you could do a lot worse considering that it ships with Pro Tools.
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If you want to learn Protools get the 003. At your level you'll be happy to get a good enough interface and probably ProTools 8 with it for $750.
Give yourself a couple of years to learn everything about sound then go back shopping for some more choices in a higher price range if you think it's worth it.

I just mixed an album completely recorded on a 003 and trust me, it would have sounded better only if the band would have invested 10 grand more on that side of the chain.

Mic choice, mic positioning, room and sound source are the main things you want to invest as a beginner. The pres are not as important.

My 2 cents.
Bas

PS: This upgrade will not be a far leap.
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2nd June 2011
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cdog , while I agree with the point you are making about the song being king, as an engineer I respectfully disagree about pres not making much difference i.e. they make a difference to me as the user and that floats my boat.
This is Gear slutz, not talent slutz .

To the OP, the 003 pres are fine at this level however I've no experience with the m-audio stuff so can't compare.

I would also consider PT9 if you can swing it.

Cheers, Ross
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Read the DUC (Avid forum) and stay away from Digi hardware.

It's the worst choice to pair with PT9, drivers are a *mess*,
which I find very funny (if you don't own Digi hw..)
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The 003r is a great bit of kit. I got mine modded by black lion audio and now I go to the pre amps. I used to avoid them in favor of my other pre amps (presonus,Ssl,dbx) but now I use them in sessions.

My issue with them is there is no pad which is mainly why I don't use them as much as the others. Especially for drums.

Anyway. Each to their own.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baslotto View Post
If you want to learn Protools get the 003. At your level you'll be happy to get a good enough interface and probably ProTools 8 with it for $750.
Give yourself a couple of years to learn everything about sound then go back shopping for some more choices in a higher price range if you think it's worth it.

I just mixed an album completely recorded on a 003 and trust me, it would have sounded better only if the band would have invested 10 grand more on that side of the chain.

Mic choice, mic positioning, room and sound source are the main things you want to invest as a beginner. The pres are not as important.

My 2 cents.
Bas

PS: This upgrade will not be a far leap.

I would agree with this. Many great records have been made with worse equipment. The 003 is just fine as an interface. The pre is usable and will provide workable results.

There were many records made with a Mackie analog 8 bus and black face adats. Bad combination of brittle sound. But in the right hands could turn out really good results.

Plus all this is opinion. What pres sound good etc... if you would be happy with the options of the 003 then buy it. You are the one using it in the end. So make yourself happy.
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6th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sessionatstudiom View Post
I would agree with this. Many great records have been made with worse equipment. The 003 is just fine as an interface. The pre is usable and will provide workable results.

There were many records made with a Mackie analog 8 bus and black face adats. Bad combination of brittle sound. But in the right hands could turn out really good results.

Plus all this is opinion. What pres sound good etc... if you would be happy with the options of the 003 then buy it. You are the one using it in the end. So make yourself happy.
I agree as well. I'm using a 002 console in my humble studio. And I'm no pro but I'm getting very good results. I've even started taking on clients and one song I recorded made it onto billboard charting album.

So its not ALL about the gear. Its about learning how to use it to the BEST of its ability.
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I'd certainly say do NOT go 003+.

003 is fine, but why pay for extra mediocre pres?

If you want a 003(+), get a regular 003r, then look at different outboard pres.
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8th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Douaire View Post
I'd certainly say do NOT go 003+.

003 is fine, but why pay for extra mediocre pres?

If you want a 003(+), get a regular 003r, then look at different outboard pres.
Agreed
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